Central Alberta immigrant centre’s ESL classes full

About 100 people on waiting list to learn English

So many people want to learn English that the Central Alberta immigrant centre now has a waiting list of about 100 people.

Frank Bauer, executive director of Central Alberta Refugee Effort (CARE) in Red Deer, said Wednesday that they hope to expand their English as a Second Language (ESL) classes again next year. They now have a total of 195 adult students each day attending ESL classes.

In April, CARE added late afternoon classes, triggered by the Syrian refugee influx early this year, when about 200 Syrians arrived in Red Deer. Between 60 and 70 adult immigrants who arrived then are in their classes.

However the vast majority of people that come to Canada are economic immigrants who have skills and education that are needed in Canada, Bauer said.

“The same applies to Red Deer. … The majority have some English skills.”

Bauer said that since September alone they have assessed about 50 people wanting to learn English. They are included in those on the waiting list. The goal for many is to get enough English so they can become Canadian citizens, get a job, or take some post-secondary education.

CARE now offers seven morning and seven afternoon classes, and two late afternoon classes. Each day time class runs for 2.5 hours. Basic listening, speaking, writing and reading of English is taught. Students will attend for two to three years normally.

The largest portion of funding for CARE ESL comes from the federal government and classes are offered free. Some classes are funded by Lifelong Learning Council program in Red Deer, and a small fee is charged.

CARE is hoping to expanding their ESL program because the number of immigrants coming to Red Deer continues to grow, Bauer said.

One of the challenges of those taking the classes is the need for child care. The child care offered at CARE is at capacity and they are looking into working collaboratively with child care providers in the community, he said.

Many families need child care so they can take ESL classes, he said.

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer reports 6 new cases of COVID-19

COVID-19 modelling projections highlight the importance of “aggressive countermeasures,” says the provincial… Continue reading

Suspected thieves caught red-handed by Sylvan Lake RCMP

Incidents happened last Sunday and Monday in the Birchcliff and Lacombe County areas

Optimist Club of Red Deer donates to youth shelter

The Optimist Club of Red Deer has donated more than $1,800 to… Continue reading

Easter Bunny visiting central Albertans to support food banks

The Easter Bunny has been enlisted to help raise money for local… Continue reading

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Message from RE/MAX Commercial: What to do when ‘sorry we’re temporarily closed’ is part of your business as landlord or tenant

Do you have questions about rent reductions or deferral of lease payments? Experts can help

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

‘Little to do with COVID:’ Landowners, law experts criticize well cleanup bill

‘Little to do with COVID:’ Landowners, law experts criticize well cleanup bill

First troops return from Ukraine, in quarantine at Ontario military base

First troops return from Ukraine, in quarantine at Ontario military base

Man charged after licking product in store as part of ‘COVID Challenge:’ police

Man charged after licking product in store as part of ‘COVID Challenge:’ police

Business generally supports changes to wage subsidy rules unveiled by Trudeau

Business generally supports changes to wage subsidy rules unveiled by Trudeau

Most Read